Editor’s Note: The interview with Joe McConaughy for this story took place July 14, a few days before he began his Appalachian Trail Fastest Known Time pursuit. As of today’s publication, Joe should be about halfway through his journey if all is going according to plan.
Whether on the trail or in everyday life, Joe McConaughy is a tough guy to track down. That has been particularly true this year. Whether it’s racing among national elites at West Coast ultramarathons, putting in long hours at a job he enjoys in sales for international travel/education company Education First, or spending quality time with his girlfriend Katie Kiracofe, most of McConaughy’s time has been spent on the go.
Knowing this, it was no surprise that it took a week to coordinate a time that would work to discuss the Boston resident’s grand summer adventure. This was the last – and only – time that would work. He’d spent a week in Canada with spotty cell service.
Today (July 14), he’s in Seattle, dropping off Katie at a Ragnar Relay event and visiting his family. Tomorrow he’ll hop a plane to Georgia. Shortly thereafter, he will disappear into the woods. Continue reading McConaughy Aims for Ambitious Appalachian Trail Speed Record
As folks in Massachusetts are sipping their coffee on Saturday morning and finishing breakfast before heading out for a weekend long run, there’s a good chance some will be logged onto UltraLive.net and looking intently for the first few nuggets of information about the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run.
The 44th running of the Western States 100 begins at 5 a.m. PST (8 a.m. EDT) Saturday, June 24, and runners have 30 hours to complete the 100.2-mile journey from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif., in ultrarunning’s original 100-mile trail footrace. Runners will climb more than 18,000 feet and descend more than 23,000 feet during the course of the race.
Three Massachusetts residents will be among the 369 runners to toe the starting line in what is expected to be a highly competitive year overall, and arguably the deepest women’s field in the history of the race. Continue reading Massachusetts Trio Set to Take on Western States
Hectic racing schedules and last-minute planning are nothing new to Brian Rusiecki.
He races more frequently than most ultrarunners – Rusiecki finished 10 ultras in 2016 and already has six to his credit in 2017. It’s common for him to register for a race at the last minute, hit the road to Vermont or Virginia, show up at the starting line and see what happens.
That longtime approach may bode well for Rusiecki as he prepares for one of the biggest races of his career. On May 9, UltraRunning Magazine announced that Rusiecki was the men’s winner of the UltraRunning Race Series and that he, along with women’s winner Clare Gallagher, 25, of Boulder, Colo., had been awarded Golden Ticket entries into the Western States Endurance Run June 24-25 from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif. Continue reading Experienced Rusiecki Ready to Cash in Golden Ticket to Western States
Lindsey Topham didn’t have filmmaking on her mind when she first connected with the Trail Animals Running Club in 2009. Instead, the Boston University graduate student was looking to photograph ultrarunners for a multimedia assignment. Additionally, having recently moved to Massachusetts from California, she hoped to make some new friends who could introduce her to the local trails.
Nearly eight years later, there is excitement in Topham’s voice as she reflects on her early interactions with TARC, how her connection to the organization blossomed both behind the camera and as a runner, and where her journey ultimately led. Continue reading ‘The Trails Are Free’ Brings TARC, Ultrarunning Culture to the Big Screen
Jeff List didn’t spend Hardrock lottery day with his eyes glued to Twitter.
Instead, on Saturday, Dec. 3, while the social media feed informed the world exactly who among the nearly 2,000 entrants into the Hardrock 100 lottery had been selected for 145 spots at the starting line, List was doing what Hardrock veterans do best – running long miles on rugged trails. Continue reading Luck, Longevity and Jeff List’s Love of the ‘Brutal Benchmark’ that is Hardrock
As the sun rose over Massachusetts on a blustery, 30-degree morning, Maddy McCarthy laced up her running shoes and headed out for a run. Meanwhile, Karen Ringheiser headed to the Middlesex Fells Reservation to lend support at the Fells Winter Ultra.
It was Saturday, Dec. 3; lottery day for Western States Endurance Run hopefuls. McCarthy and Ringheiser were among the 51 runners from Massachusetts and 4,248 applicants worldwide vying for 250 spots up for grabs in ultrarunning’s original 100-mile race.
Both McCarthy and Ringheiser knew the lottery day drill as well as anybody. For most, that drill involves starting the day feeling hopeful, eventually learning that their names weren’t drawn, and then beginning the search for a race to re-qualify for the following year’s lottery. Continue reading Worth the Wait: McCarthy, Ringheiser to Represent Massachusetts at Western States
Maddy McCarthy made a quick stop at the Highway 49 aid station and then cruised down a long stretch of smooth, winding singletrack before dashing across historic No Hands Bridge.
The iconic Western States course was beneath her feet, and it felt perfect. This was what she’d dreamed of.
Sort of. Continue reading Waiting for Western: A Spot in Western States Is No Guarantee for 51 Massachusetts Hopefuls